Verizon Treats My Dumb Phone Like A Smart Phone, Requires Useless Data Package

Jonathan is angry that Verizon requires a $10-a-month data package for his wife’s lower-end flip phone, which she has no intention of using to web surf.

He writes:

My wife just renewed with Verizon on a 2 year plan for a small Samsung Alias 2 flip phone. I previously have owned this phone before upgrading myself to a true smartphone and enjoyed it. The problem is, they are making a mandatory data package with the phone, as if it were a smart phone. If anyone has used this device there is no reason it should be considered a smart phone that requires data. So for an extra $10/month she is required to have data on a basic phone. Is it not crazy that a small flip phone is required $10/m for data?

If you’re on Verizon, like your phone and don’t have to pay a data charge, sell John on your recommendation in the comments.

Comments

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  1. WagTheDog says:

    “…. sell John on your recommendation….”

    Is that a typo or am I just not understanding Consumerist-speak.

    • sagodjur says:

      “To sell [someone] on [something]” means to attempt to convince them to accept the point of view you’re espousing.

      For example, “Don’t try to sell me on some bullcrap about climate change, son!”

      • WagTheDog says:

        But, if the person selling is on Verizon, and the OP is also on Verizon, there cannot be many recommendations to “sell”…..the paragraph just doesn’t make linguistic sense to me. But anyway.

        • Morte42 says:

          If you’re on Verizon, like your phone and don’t have to pay a data charge, sell John on your recommendation in the comments.

          If you’re on Verizon, like your phone and don’t have to pay a data charge, sell John on your recommendation

          If you’re on Verizon, like your phone and don’t have to pay a data charge, sell John

          If you’re on Verizon, like your phone, sell John on your recommendation in the comments.

          If you like your phone, sell John on your recommendation in the comments.

          Shall I continue or have you figured it out yet?

          • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

            I think the confusion maybe is from the “sell John”. Why would I want to do that? I’m not a slave trader.

            • Duke_Newcombe-Making children and adults as fat as pigs says:

              I’d kill for a /facepalm graphic right about now…

    • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

      “Tell him about your awesome dumbphone through Verizon that isn’t on their list of ‘Data Required’ phones. Describe how much better it is than the Samsung Alias 2.”

  2. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    Doesn’t she have the option to say no and go elsewhere?

    • YouDidWhatNow? says:

      Not and use the hand-me-down phone. Which, considering what you can get for free, probably isn’t worth messing with.

    • lizk says:

      Not all of us have a plethora of cell phone companies offering service in our area. In my area, it’s Verizon or Sprint. If you have Sprint and you aren’t on a highway, you’re in a dead zone. So, it’s either a $10 data plan I don’t need (which I do currently pay for, unfortunately) or extremely limited coverage. It’s not much of a choice, really.

  3. phrekyos says:

    I was recently looking at switching to Verizon, and my understanding is they did this relatively recently. All but the dumbest dumbphones require the lil’ data package at $10/mo. Smartphones require the regular data package at $30/mo.

    This is one of the reasons I just went with Verizon prepaid. I don’t use data, but I don’t want a super-craptastic phone either.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      My question is, is he phone even capable of using the data package she’s paying for?

      • wbabbit says:

        Almost all phones today have some little crappy browser installed on them, even the free nokia phones they give away for pennies…

      • myCatCracksMeUp says:

        My husband and I both have the Alias 2. He’s got the data plan just so he can read, and occasionally send, email. Once in a while he uses the crappy browser to check on something (is an arriving plane going to be on time, things like that). I’ve got no need to read email on my phone, so I don’t have the data plan. We both really like the Alias 2 a lot – it’s a good phone. But I don’t think I would’ve gotten it if I’d been required to get a data plan when I got it (last Sept).

    • Big Mama Pain says:

      Doesn’t Verizon have some random daily “fee” for using a prepaid phone? I remember when I was looking into prepaid, Verizon’s would have wound up costing the same per month as a contract, plus you’d have to buy the minutes.

      • phrekyos says:

        It depends on the plan. I have the plan with no daily fee, just flat 25 cents a minute. I use my mobile phone so little, it’s worth it to just buy a $100 card that lasts a year and forget about it. It’s better than ~$35 a month for the cheapest postpaid plan.

  4. sirwired says:

    With VzW now, any phone with EVDO capability, even if it would make a really lousy data phone, requires that stupid $10 plan. They still have four or five models that don’t require the plan.

    • edicius is an acquired taste says:

      Mine must be one of them, then. The wife and I just got new LG Cosmos phones last month and weren’t required to have any sort of data plan.

  5. gaya2081 says:

    I bet its not a true data package but a ‘Multimedia Package’. Most of the non-smartphones Verizon sells are Multimedia phones that can play music, basic games, and basic internet. I have an Envy 3 and they tried to get me to buy that. I declined. However this was over a year ago and requirements change. It could very well be required now.

    • Kay Bee says:

      my env3 i got off ebay used needed data. support said their computer system wont allow you to add the phone without data and you cannot remove the data without removing the phone. very silly. i dont use data.

  6. gaya2081 says:

    I bet its not a true data package but a ‘Multimedia Package’. Most of the non-smartphones Verizon sells are Multimedia phones that can play music, basic games, and basic internet. I have an Envy 3 and they tried to get me to buy that. I declined. However this was over a year ago and requirements change. It could very well be required now.

    • JR-13 says:

      It is “true” data, but it’s only 25mb. They made the change to this mandatory nonsense earlier this year, around Feb or March. If you bought before that, you’re grandfathered in.

  7. Rumblepuff says:

    I had the same problem, I couldn’t get the phone I wanted without getting data, so instead of getting a nice phone (which I would have had to pay for) I got the free one that I didn’t have pay data for.

  8. BettyCrocker says:

    pre-paid.

  9. wcnghj says:

    Drop it- you can usually return the phone within 30 days.

    Go with sprint, or if available, a regional carrier.

  10. Rumblepuff says:

    I had the same problem, I wanted to get a phone and they said that I would need to pay for data plan. I didn’t use data, I just liked the phone. So instead of buying the phone I wanted ($100) I picked up the free phone instead.

  11. vyx313 says:

    The way Verizon is pushing “smart phones” and the data plans the force upon them is getting out of hand. You have very few choices if you want a phone that makes calls and sends txt messages. This is doubly true if you are looking for a phone with a qwerty keyboard.

    The phone I have now was transitioned into needing a $10 data plan. Fortunately I was grandfathered in and don’t have to start paying for data but I would never have gotten it if the phone required a plan. It’s a dumb phone that I wouldn’t wish upon anyone who was actually trying to use its data services for anything useful.

    I realize that Verizon is in business to make money but charging $10 for a very limited data plan and $30 for a bigger but still capped data plan is outrageous. I think it’s up there as one of the most expensive internet access plans you can get in the entire developed world.

    Not that other carriers are any better but I don’t have personal experience with them to bitch about :)

  12. Dover says:

    Yep, you’re stuck with a small selection of “feature phones” if you don’t want any sort of data plan. I do like my phone, but it wouldn’t have been my first choice. Also, Verizon’s website stinks at sorting phones, making it very difficult to figure out what phones require data plans and which don’t.

    • baquwards says:

      not really. They have a tab for 3g smartphones, a tab for 3g mulitmedia phones, a tab for feature phones and a tab for 3g internet devices. just click on the feature phone tab and those phones require NO DATA, while anything marked 3g does.

    • myCatCracksMeUp says:

      I think this really stinks. We’ve had Verizon for many years, and have been very happy, but if I can no longer get the phone I want without paying for data, which I would never use, I’ll probably look at other options (carriers) when my current phone dies.

      I have the Alias 2 and really like it’s two-way keyboard, and the quality of the pictures it takes.

  13. vyx313 says:

    The way Verizon is pushing “smart phones” and the data plans the force upon them is getting out of hand. You have very few choices if you want a phone that makes calls and sends txt messages. This is doubly true if you are looking for a phone with a qwerty keyboard.

    The phone I have now was transitioned into needing a $10 data plan. Fortunately I was grandfathered in and don’t have to start paying for data but I would never have gotten it if the phone required a plan. It’s a dumb phone that I wouldn’t wish upon anyone who was actually trying to use its data services for anything useful.

    I realize that Verizon is in business to make money but charging $10 for a very limited data plan and $30 for a bigger but still capped data plan is outrageous. I think it’s up there as one of the most expensive internet access plans you can get in the entire developed world.

    Not that other carriers are any better but I don’t have personal experience with them to bitch about :)

  14. LawyerontheDL says:

    My husband and I had the same problem with them recently. Unfortunately, my employer pays the bulk of my bill, so we’re stuck with Verizon for the time being. He argued and bitched to no avail. He even said that he’d pay for the stupid data plan, but wanted them to turn it off. Apparently, they can’t do that (Rolls Eyes). Every time I walk out of a Verizon Store I feel like I’ve been violated. Ugh.

  15. Sardis says:

    This is nothing new. Plenty of prepaid providers out there. The only reason I even see why most people would even be with the major carriers is for the data. If you are only talking and texting prepaid is the way to go.

  16. Bix says:

    He’s talking about the “Mobile Web” plan, right?

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      I think they only sell “Stationary Web” packages.

  17. Scurvythepirate says:

    They added that $10 a month mandatory data plan because, like me, if you accidentally hit any button that connects to the internet…. BAM $1.99 data charge on your bill, every time. No matter how fast you hit that cancel button you get nailed with it. It’s a pain in the ass to get them to reverse that charge.

    I have written to some people in politics that were investigating Verizon because of this. I eventually dumped Verizon after nearly 10 years.

    • HunterJoules says:

      No, they added the mandatory data package to get more money out of their customers.

      If you want to avoid the $1.99 mistake you can log into your Verizon Wireless account and block data on your phone. That’s what I did.

  18. He says:

    Why did you renew if you didn’t get a new phone? You can change plans w/o incurring another 2 year obligation. You have thirty days to reverse yourself. Or did you not give your old phone to your wife? Buy a phone off ebay and don’t renew.

  19. Tamar Weinberg says:

    I’m confused. Looking at this phone, it looks like a full-fledged data phone. Whether his wife elects to use the data or not is not the issue. The issue is that she’s buying a phone that actually has these features and is mostly intended for data use.

    I’ve been fighting with another major phone service provider over a very similar issue for over a year (not joking; I’m on my 13th month). If you see my phone minutes and usage, you’ll know that my data usage, if anything, is minimal. Using the same logic, I shouldn’t have to pay for any enhanced plan either.

    …but she shouldn’t have bought a phone with a large screen. That implies a different type of usage.

    You still have to buy a 400-500 minute plan (the minimum) even if you don’t use it. This isn’t any different.

    Finally, this isn’t a basic flip phone and it most certainly isn’t a dumb phone. See?

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      I’ll agree that certain phones suggest certain uses. But some people purchase phones for aesthetic appeal, their non-data uses )even if some of its uses are data-intensive) and also trying to be hip/cool/relevent even if they don’t intend to spend the money on data use.

      But, Verizon and really any carrier is perfectly capable of either turning off your ability to use data beyond texting, or monitor and charge you for data usage.

      Their requirement to pay for data whether or not you use it is purely a price grab. All they want to do it make you pay extra money for service you don’t use.

    • wrjohnston91283 says:

      …but she shouldn’t have bought a phone with a large screen. That implies a different type of usage.

      This also is NOT a “basic flip phone”. It has a QWERTY keyboard (actually it uses e-ink and is QWERTY when held horizontally, but a regular phone pad when held vertically).

      It’s a “messaging phone”, and Verizon probably is requiring you to get a messaging package, not a data plan. AT&T does something similar – any phone with a QWERTY keyboard that’s NOT a smartphone has to have a messaging plan. A true basic flip phone without a QWERTY keyboard would most likely not require any sort of special data/messaging plan.

      An open note to Phil and the other editors: I’d like to see some review of these posts in the future. You guys USED to reach out to companies to get their side of the story, or to see at least what they would say to a blogger about it. In this case, I wish Phil would have done a little background research and found out that the Alias 2 isn’t a “basic” phone, and either rejected this for a post, or at least mentioned it in the post. Recently it seems that you guys are simply taking emails, throwing together two sentences and creating a post. I’m not asking for deep investigative journalism here, but at least do SOMETHING.

      • myCatCracksMeUp says:

        But the Alias 2 IS a nice basic phone. I have one. I use it for phone calls, for texting, and for taking pictures when I don’t have my camera available.

        I’ve got the basic plan with the fewest minutes (400 I think, maybe 450) and some texting plan added on (I don’t remember much about the details). My husband has the same phone and has the same plan I do, but with data added on because he does use the email feature and a little bit of Internet access.

        When we bought the phones last September there was no requirement to get a data plan, and I don’t think there should be now.

        Why shouldn’t I be able to use the phone I like (I REALLY like the QWERTY keyboard for texting) without getting a data plan, if I’m not going to use the data plan? Verizon is 100% sticking it to their customers, and I say this as someone who’s been 100% happy with Verizon up to this point. I guess I’m still happy with them, since I don’t have the data plan, but when this phone dies, I will probably not stay with Verizon.

      • psm321 says:

        There are reasons to want such a phone other than texting or web browsing. My dad has that phone, likes it, and does neither of those things.

      • Willow16 says:

        “It’s a “messaging phone”, and Verizon probably is requiring you to get a messaging package, not a data plan.”

        Nope, you have to pay extra for texting and $9.99/month just for the data plan per phone. All it is is a money grab and is pushing families out of Verizon. We have a Verizon family plan with four phones and we pay $30/month for unlimited texting. If we get new phones (LG Env3) that are comparable to our current phones (LG Env2) we would be paying an extra $40/month just to have a little data. Since we have two teenagers, we would want the data blocked anyway because once they go over the limit then we’re paying a lot more.

        At this point, it looks like we’re going to PagePlus when our contract is up. Yes we have to buy the phones out right but we’ll save a lot monthly.

    • common_sense84 says:

      You can turn data off. No phone requires data. If you want an iphone without a data plan, that should be allowed. Most people are fine for texting and talking on the phone. And lots are perfectly fine using wifi for any data for their iphones or others that actually have decent data features.

  20. bobosgirl says:

    Just for our daughter (age 10) the Samsung Intensity- and when we ordered it, along with new phones myself and hubby, we told them all we wanted her to be able to do is call home when her summer lessons, etc. are over, and text back and forth with her 2 college living older sisters. The rep blocked internet and told us it was no problem- no data required.

    However, the Alias clearly says “data package of $9.99 or higher REQUIRED”- here’s the page. I think the OP is stuck.

    http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/store/controller?item=phoneFirst&action=viewPhoneDetail&selectedPhoneId=4686

  21. anime_runs_my_life says:

    The Samsung Alias 2 is not “just some flip phone”. It’s a QWERTY phone: http://tinyurl.com/yco6xbt

    QWERTY phones are assumed to be used with data plans since they can access the internet. It’s just in a nice, tiny package.

    I’m sure if you don’t like it, you can take it back within your return period and get something else.

    • myCatCracksMeUp says:

      But this still stinks. I have the Alias 2 and LOVE being able to use the QWERTY keyboard for texting. Are you saying that if I don’t use the internet from my phone, I shouldn’t have a QWERTY keyboard for texting? That makes no sense.

      • anime_runs_my_life says:

        I never said that, so don’t go putting words in my mouth, thankyouverymuch. I said, if you had paid attention, “QWERTY phones are assumed to be used with data plans since they can access the internet.” Different carriers have different definitions for what the phones are. I never said it was a smart phone. So if AT&T thinks it’s a smart phone, so be it. take it up with them.

      • anime_runs_my_life says:

        I never said that. Don’t put words in my mouth.

    • edicius is an acquired taste says:

      My LG Cosmos is a qwerty phone. I’m with Verizon. I have no required data plan.

      So, just because it’s a qwerty phone, it doesn’t presuppose a data plan.

  22. coolteamblt says:

    My husband has one too, and he loves it. He got his early last year, no data plan required. I upgraded to a Chocolate Touch in March, and they tried to tell me I had to add that $10 data plan to my husband’s phone too when I added the mandatory data plan onto mine. It took four phone calls, and faxing in my bills showing he had never used a single packet of data in the year he had it, but they waived the data plan for his phone. I’m still stuck with the one on mine. The internet sucks on mine too, but I at least knew about it going in.

    The thing that makes me the maddest is their explanation: you’ll love our internet so much, you’ll run up a giant bill paying by the kilobyte, and we’re doing you a favor and saving you money! Let’s ignore the fact the only reason I wanted a Chocolate Touch was because it had a keyboard to text with and a halfway decent camera. The phones that don’t require data plans from Verizon are basically Jitterbugs or PTT now.

  23. RubyRedJess says:

    As an ex Verizon rep, I can tell you that we used to have the ability to actually block data usage on someone’s account. The sales rep will lie to you and say they don’t because they make a commission on the data plans. When we sold a phone you have to put a data plan on the account, there was a data plan code that said “no data/block” that showed on your bill as such and displayed a cost of $0.00.

    Again, I am not an employee anymore so things might have changed. I

    • perfectly_cromulent says:

      things have changed a lot, my friend.

    • XTC46 says:

      This is how i recall it as well. I worked for a large company and managed about 150 phones on verizon for our staff. We blocked data on all but about 10 of them, and all had the ability to access the internet if we had the plan active. We just liked the phones and got them for free on contract so why not take them, even if they were being under utilized.

  24. EmDeeEm says:

    This policy actually pushed me off the fence into getting a true smartphone. (which is probably exactly what they want you to do). If I have to pay for data, I might as well get a phone that can do something with it.

  25. Mr_Human says:

    If it’s what they call a multimedia phone, it requires a data plan, which is a relatively new policy. But apparently, a lot of people have been balking at this, so I hear on the grapevine that they’re going to remove this requirement soon.

  26. JohnDeere says:

    ya this sucks. my wife and i have been with verizon for 10 years and this is the first time we are not going to get the free new every 2 that they offer.

  27. destruktolux says:

    I think the lesson here is: if you don’t need a relatively sophisticated phone experience, and all you need is plain vanilla voice and text service, why get postpaid service? If you’re not using a high end phone, the only other possible reasons to use a postpaid carrier would be that you refuse to pay outright for the cost of a phone, or you desperately need a more involved customer care experience.

  28. CSUSam says:

    I work for a reseller for Verizon in Colorado, and ghe Alias 2 was a weird one. Phone that Verizon considers “Multimedia Phones” have the $10 plan required now. We fought this tooth and nail, but there is nothing we or anybody else can do about it, unfortuantely. The Alias 2 was on that list at first, then they took it off, and we don’t have it anymore, but it appears they do again require it. She could have gone with a Samsung Intensity or LG Cosmos if she liked the full keyboard and not had to pay the $10 data plan.

  29. Pencreus says:

    This has been going on since January 18th of this year. It’s not new. There are plenty of other phones that do not require this 25mb data package.

  30. edman007 says:

    If you already have the phone then you don’t have to renew the plan, when you don’t renew you go onto a monthly thing with no ETF, the 2 year contract is only to get you a $200 credit towards a new phone, by not renewing you can hold off on accepting the credit (for like when your phone breaks or something).

    And from what I can tell from their website, the monthly data plan is only enforced at contract signup, i’m pretty sure you can just drop it from the online account manager (I have a smart phone and it looks like I could choose to drop the data plan…maybe it says no when I click it, I’m not trying it because I need the plan)

  31. WayneB says:

    I think mandatory plans should be outlawed. Bring back metered billing with a fixed rate, I’ll gladly pay $0.0075/megabyte. Maybe even a full penny per megabyte.

    • johnva says:

      Well, that’s why they make it mandatory. Otherwise who would want to pay $0.40/MB for data in 2010?

  32. johnva says:

    $10/month is ridiculously overpriced for a 25 MB data plan. That’s like pure profit for Verizon.

    • Buckus says:

      I’d tell you how much transferring that much data costs, but suffice it to say it’s probably less than a penny.

    • blueneon says:

      Verizon isn’t a non-profit, why can’t they charge ridiculous prices? Consumers have the right to take it or leave it.

      • johnva says:

        Of course they can. I’m just pointing out that it makes even AT&T’s iPhone data plans look a steal on a per-megabyte basis.

  33. Buckus says:

    If you get Gordon Gecko’s phone, you won’t have to pay the data plan, but you’ll need a back specialist for the hernia it’s going to give you.

  34. MyTQuinn says:

    If John and his wife are happy with Verizon coverage, my recommendation is to return the new Alias 2, cancel her line, and activate his old Alias 2 on Page Plus (a Verizon MVNO). They could get her on a plan with 1200 minutes, 1200 text messages, and 50MB of data for $30/mo, or unlimited minutes & text, plus 20MB of data for $45/mo.

    Two years ago I started a new family plan with Verizon for myself, my wife, and son. Seven months later I ported my wife’s and son’s numbers to Page Plus using their Verizon phones, paid the ETFs and STILL saved money (they hardly use their phones). Over the past 17 months, I have paid an average of $5/mo. for BOTH of their lines ($2.50/mo each) – every 4 months it costs me $20 to keep their balances from expiring.

  35. Miz_Ivy says:

    Didn’t you look into that before buying the phone? Last time I was phone shopping I specifically did not want a data plan, so I made sure to choose one that didn’t require it.

  36. My Head Hurts says:

    I have a smartphone without a data plan on verizon.

  37. post_break says:

    I have a better question for the OP. Why did he have to renew a 2 year commitment if he already owned the phone? You can go month to month without a contract.

  38. thaJack says:

    This is old news. A LG Env, for example, has required a data plan for several months now. Pretty much any phone capable of using 3G data in any way now requires a data plan whether you use it or not.

  39. TVGenius says:

    They call those ‘featurephones’.

  40. perfectly_cromulent says:

    the thing is though, the alias 2 isn’t a basic phone…and my guess is the sales rep did a bad job explaining the difference between them. people will hate me for this comment, but there has been a ton of demand for people that want a “basic” flip phone that can do stuff like internet…ta-da, multimedia phones and data plans were born.

    as for a feature phone that doesn’t need data…get the LG cosmos.

  41. Ed Greenberg says:

    We have a Verizon Smartphone — A Palm Centro. We do not use the web features. We were able to get Verizon to (a) block internet access and (b) drop the data plan.

    The poster should ask them to do the same. Block Internet and drop the data plan.

  42. Consumer David says:

    HERE’S THE SECRET:

    I read through all the comments and I can’t believe no one has suggested this. The problem is that the OP tried to activate this phone on a Nationwide plan. Since it’s not an HTML phone, it can be activated on their older “America’s Choice” plan, as long as everyone else on the plan also has a dumb “feature phone”. I have an Alias2 (same phone as OP), and don’t pay the $10 data charge, but I do pay $5 a month for “mobile web”, which is completely optional. With that plan I never get charged for data, web usage uses airtime minutes! My wife has an Env2 and my sister has a different dumbphone – this qualifies us to stay on America’s Choice. =)

  43. Carlee says:

    I hate these mandatory data plans. I almost got into a similar situation – I extended my AT&T contract (for two years, ugh) and got a new LG Neon. In order to get the rebate, I had to have a data plan $20 or more per month. The rep at the store did not tell me the data plan requirement (I should have asked).

    I decided I didn’t like the phone that much and ended up returning it for a slider phone. Got rid of the data plan (back down to the minimum texting plan).

    These days, most phones are smartphones. Otherwise, they are very plain vanilla-types and the selection is limited. I wish we could get smartphones (to use for their other non-data capabilities – such as calendar, Qwerty, etc) and not have to pay for the data plans. Or they should come up with nicer dumbphones… someone should market them.

  44. maraa01 says:

    SPRINT….they are not perfect, but I am much happier there than I was with Verizon. We have 5 phones on our plan, with unlimited data, and pay less that we did at V with only 4 phones and no data package.

    On a side note, a friend was working for Sitel (they are a call center for V) and they were written up for allowing customers to talk to a supervisor. They could only forward a specific number of calls up the chain each month or they were in danger of being fired.

  45. ldavis480 says:

    These mandatory data plans are a red hot issue for me. I think they’re a major scam and by that I don’t mean the wireless telecoms are making a few bucks off of it, but rather a scam on such a level that would give satan a boner. In my opinion Congress needs to start investigating them.

  46. psm321 says:

    I thought when they announced this new requirement a while ago, they said people who already had the phones would be grandfathered in? (I remember because the rest of my family is on Verizon and 2 of them have phones that would otherwise be subject to the requirement)

    • Willow16 says:

      Phones bought before January 28th are grandfathered in but if, say, you misplace your Env3 and activate an old phone. When you find the Env3 and then try to reactivate it you would then be required to have the data plan. Not cool but they are getting away with it.

      • psm321 says:

        Wow, that sucks… I should let my brother know since he plays with switching around his phone sometimes with the online tool

  47. fordprefect says:

    Samsung Convoy. Has most of the same useful features. GREAT battery life. Chunky. No data plan required. Maybe not as “stylish” as the Alias 2, but rugged and functional.

  48. HorseplayEconomics says:

    Horseplay I say.
    I don’t have a data plan for my cheap-o Verizon flip phone

    Here is solution
    Call 611 from phone and block data. They can’t possibly charge you for something that you block.

  49. rdub says:

    Yep….welcome to the new verizon rules. Some of the stupidest I’ve ever seen. I don’t see how they can justify a tiny data package (25 MB/Month) $9.99 a month. However, as long as you are paying attention you can get an OK phone without the $9.99 monthly charge. If all you use your phone for is calling and messaging, why not look at the LG Cosmos or Samsung Intensity?

    Little tip, if you go to the verizon website they break their phones down to three sections – 3G Smartphones (29.99 monthly data), 3G Multimedia Phones (9.99 monthly data), and features phones. The feature phones are the ones you can get without them tagging you an extra data charge.

  50. marcusdiddle says:

    My sister got the Moto ENV3, which she later found out required the $10 data plan. She called Verizon and threatened to return the phone and cancel. The rep asked if the $10 fee was the only reason, to which she said yes. The rep waived the $10 monthly fee. So she still has the phone, has data access, and no $10 fee. I doubt they’ll do this for you in the brick-n-mortar store, but give Verizon a call and see what they can do.

  51. odarkshineo says:

    …this story is old news…little late now to be enraged…

  52. thriftinyc says:

    I’m hanging on to an old Verizon smart phone so that I don’t have to pay $29/month for a “free” upgrade.

  53. simonr27 says:

    I just checked my online bill and you can actually remove the data plan. I have the same plan and If you look online you can remove it. It may just be easier to eat $10 for the month and remove it online.

  54. DewBerry says:

    The really, really, really bad part of this comes when you have kids on a family plan. And thats the reason they won’t let you block data.

    Adding a phone on the Verizon family plan used to cost $10 per line. Kids can really cripple you on overages, so you have to pay for unlimited texting and block all premium services like premium texts and data, and you have to keep an eye on minutes.

    Now Verizon is forcing you to add data at $10 per line for any texting phone, doubling the per line cost for an extremely limited 250MB data plan, and, worst of all, exposing parents to the very high risk of thousands of dollars of overages when your 13-year old discovers youtube.

    The only way to avoid the overage risk is to get the “unlimited” data plan for $30 per line.

    I should also point out that I have looked on verizonwireless.com for details of their data plans, including overage fees, and I cannot find anything. Can anybody provide a link to their terms?

    So now I have 4 choices:
    1) take away the kids texting phones and give them crappy candy bar phones,
    2) increase the monthly bill for their phones from $30 to $60 and risk $10000 overages while keeping a paranoid eye on data usage for the next few years,
    3) increase the monthly bill for their phones from $30 to $120 for unlimited data, and wait for the next plan Verizon comes up with to shaft me.
    4) find another carrier.

    right now its looking like 4.

    facebook group:
    http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=257808747739&ref=mf

    contact Verizon Wireless CEO – the man responsible:
    http://aboutus.vzw.com/leadership/executive/profiles/Lowell_McAdam.html

  55. Kelly Bufkin says:

    I canceled my data package. I bought an LG Chocolate Touch this past week, and it came with a $10.00 data pack, VPAK, VCast. I called *688 and asked the robot for VPak, got a human on the line, and asked him to cancel my data package. He made some noise about it being the weekend and that as a special favor he would cancel it for me even though they are not supposed to. He asked me not to tell my friends. Well, ya’ll are not friends of mine as of yet.

  56. CookiePuss says:

    ATT just started this as well. It used to be a mandatory $15 data package on smartphones. Now they very recently just started a mandatory $20/month media fee for “quick messaging” phones as well. So if your phone can send a quick message, ATT needs an extra $480 tacked on to your plan.

    I personally mainly use my LG Vu for talking and taking the occasional picture. The newer phones have better cameras, screens you can actually see outside, etc. Plenty of features that don’t involve getting online.(theres always free WiFi for that anyway).

    I have 3 months left on my 3rd phone then I’m leaving ATT and getting a prepaid plan. I’m not buying into these forced media/data plans or renewing a 2 year contract for a $3 downgraded phone you could get free in a crackerjack box.

  57. ITDEFX says:

    I’m kinda worried about this as well.. My last two phones were both touch screen and were “neat” to have, but after awhile I was more in for the phone functionality than cool features.. Although I think these droid phones are very cool…Verizon’s data plans are way over priced. My next phone will return to something more simpler like a flip phone as I have had so many problems with my touch screen phone batteries. I think out of all the phones I have had with verizon, my LG 8300 was the best phone I have ever bought from them. For them to say, I need a data plan for a non-smart phone …they can go f’ themselves.

  58. Lulinada says:

    I too resent having to pay for a data package. All I want to do is sync my contacts, phone#’s & notes. I don’t email or text. I have a Motorola Q that no longer will sync w/my computer. It needs a software flash which no Verizon store in a 25 mile radius of my home can do. So for $75.00 I can send it to Motorola for a software upgrade and have it gone for a week. I feel like I’m being ripped off. The government should look into this.